LAS VEGAS – This isn’t one of those articles explaining what teams did what during the 2018 Baseball winter meetings but instead for those who have explored the idea of working in baseball. I was one of the 300 plus job seekers attending the PBEO job fair in efforts to latch on to a major or minor league baseball club. If you want to work in baseball then this is the place to do it.
PBEO is a minor league baseball job site that sets up for the duration of the baseball winter meetings and offers numerous seminars from past job seekers sharing their stories of how they were once us in search for a job in the game we love. PBEO offers a massive ballroom of tables and chairs for fellow job seekers to share where they come from and what they want to do and more importantly, a constant job board of positions to apply for.
As much as they do, that isn’t all the fair offers. If you want to, or if you were some of the lucky ones like myself to take advantage of this opportunity, then you better be an outgoing person and prepared to walk – a lot! Not “affiliated” with the job fair process, is the opportunity to walk and sometimes run up to those MLB executives as they venture from their own meetings to wherever their next destination is. You can be walking next to Yankees general manager Brain Cashman (like I did on numerous occasions) one minute while Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen walks in the opposite direction. They are all over the place as they make their way around the massive Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas where this years winter meetings took place.
I arrived on Saturday morning and stayed until late Wednesday night and in that time I applied to 14 jobs to various team affiliates while also connecting on some level with the people in charge of building their roster. When walking the halls, a piece of advice I can give is have a thirty second pitch ready for them and a business card, not a resume, and be prepared to be handed off within that exchange. Also as mentioned, be prepared to walk (depending of course where the meetings take place in the future). The Mandalay Bay is enormous and the walks from the entrance to the convention center where the meetings took place is a solid five to seven minute walk at the least.
In one night alone, I walked 12.8 miles, 33,852 steps and climbed 7 floors all according to my health app on my iPhone. There was never a night I walked less than 16,000 steps and that was all in the hotel and it’s lobbies. There was no venturing out to the sights and sounds of the Vegas strip. I was there looking for a job but more importantly, networking and making connections to the baseball community. By no means are these meetings laid back, they are a grind and you have to be determined to power yourself through it.
The process can be filled with positives and negatives but even the negatives can become positives. Not everyone who attends seeking a job will necessarily land one but you got the opportunity of being there and putting your name out there. Even if your resume wasn’t the lucky one to be selected you still took advantage of what the fair has to offer – connecting and experiencing it. It sounds repetitive but that is the key. You also meet fellow seekers and build new friendships so then you can share these stories down the line at future job fairs explaining how you were once in their shoes like many of those from the seminars.
I met some incredible people along my four day journey in Vegas and those are friendships I’m glad I made. I met with major league teams (Yankees, Mets, Indians, Marlins, Red Sox, Giants, Angels, Diamondbacks, Pirates and Nationals) as well as minor league affiliates (S.I. Yankees, Norfolk Tides and Altoona Curve) and I can’t forget the great MLB Network personalities.
All in all, it was an amazing experience that I’ll never forget and it made me fall in love with the game even more because of the talent, dedication and passion that goes into it. I highly recommend that if you ever want to work in baseball than the PBEO job fair and Baseball winter meetings is where you need to go. If you truly do, the 2019 Winter Meetings will be taking place in San Diego.